Tlingit Strength, Tlingit Power.
“Lingit Latseen” is the warrior code of the Tlingit. We are the modern incarnation of this code. As modern Tlingit warriors we:
- Embrace our identity as Tlingit. There was a time, not long ago, when our people were beaten for speaking their language, discouraged from practicing their art, and separated from their families to bleed the “Tlingit” out of us. Yet our culture flourishes.
- Commit our loyalty to family, clan and kwaan first. Clan and tribe are the traditional societal organizations that have sustained people throughout the world. This is the form of social organization that best serves its members. Our survival as a people depends on our commitment to one another.
- Defend our family, clan, kwaan and community from our enemies. There are powerful forces committed to the destruction of our way of life through theft of our land, destruction of our resources, and the murder of our culture.
- Reject the concept of the nation state. There are only tribes, some more powerful than others. When one tribe cedes authority, power and resources to another then it becomes a weak shell, no longer able to serve its people and only able to exist at the pleasure of its rulers. For our people to flourish, clan and kwaan must once again become the dominant forms of social organization. Clan and kwaan best represent our individual and societal interests. The nation state has thus far caused our people pain and anguish; and nearly destroyed us. It is time to reject it.
- Maintain the peace with those neighbors who are peaceful toward us. We do not wish for war with other tribes, races, peoples, entities or organizations.
- Establishment of a Tlingit Nation comprised of independent clans and kwaans, organized as they see fit, with members as they deem worthy to carry their honor.
- An active network of modern Tlingit Warriors in every community with a significant Tlingit population. From California to Anchorage, and in the Tlingit heartlands of southeast Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia.
- Continued, sustained rebirth of our culture. Already our people are actively carving, producing regalia, dancing, singing, and telling our histories through the oral tradition. This will continue!
- Economic independence of our people. Our economy was destroyed and, like many Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and American Indians, we survive at the pleasure of the United States.
- Education of our youth. To quote Dr. Walter Soboloff: “The proof of family importance for children success is reflected in the strength of the clan system. How important it is to rely on the family, it was never perfect but necessary to continue civilization. If there was ever a fort of the world, it is the family unit.”
- Defense of our families, clans, and kwaans on all fronts. The Shtax’héen Kwáan and Jilkoot Kwáan remain landless to this day, their territory boldly claimed by the powerful Tribe of the United States of America. Our fishermen pay tribute to the tribe of the State of Alaska to fish their own ancestral waters. Our at.oowu have been stolen and put into museums, burying our culture alive. On these fronts our warriors will engage in legal battles and economic warfare. But a day may come when we must stand and fight for our survival.
We have been on the defensive for 200 years. But our victories should not be forgotten. We look to the Battle of Sheet’-ká and the Kiks.ádi Survival March as proof of our fighting spirit. We solemnly remember the bombardment of Angoon. And today, we continue this glorious struggle for survival. We push back against our enemies, but more important, we push forward our people. Lingit Latseen!